Shall We Build an A-Frame or Back-Split?

by Elizabeth Trickey

Read Time: Approx. 9 minutes.

Such a big country, and so many places to put down roots.  Where would it be best to  raise a family?  The city?  The suburbs?  Or a relaxing spot in cottage country?  Decisions, decisions.

Wildlife critters have many things to consider after leaving their family home and striking out on their own.  Even though many species live solitary lives, they do depend on an extended community to find a mate, keep each other safe from predators, and to hunt for larger game.  Yet any given area can only support a certain number of each species.  So when young animals leave the family home, they need to find, or build, a new one where there is a good supply of food and water.  Where do they go?  What type of home will meet their needs?      

Drey – Squirrel nest in Japanese Maple 1516 by Willamette Biology

Eastern Grey squirrels live all over Ontario, in cities, suburbs, and woodlands.  At around three months old, young squirrels begin looking for their own piece of real estate near the tops of mature trees.  Sometimes, they get lucky and find a deserted nesting area inside a tree trunk.  If not, they look for a solid spot, usually on a limb near the trunk of the tree.  There they build a platform of twigs, and then an outer shell of twigs and leaves.  Once the drywalling is done, they work on the interior, weaving together an assortment of found objects including feathers, bits of man-made fabrics, and an assortment of vegetation such as grass and moss.  These homes are about the size of a basketball and are called dreys.

Shall We Build an A-Frame or Back-Split?
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